Contact me at bala@balaramadurai.net.

Blogs

Podcast Enterprise: S1E2: The Man Trap

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

In this episode, the USS enterprise arrives at a planet called M 1 1 3, and the captain and the doctor beams down there. The planet is in ruins.

It’s a shadow of an ancient civilization that is long vanished and the only two inhabitants there, are a doctor called Dr. Robert Crater, who’s an archeologist and his wife, Nancy Crater. Dr. McCoy has actually been in a relationship with Nancy Crater, so there’s a lot of confusing emotions there for him.

The episode deals with the alien race that was there among the ruins. This alien race had built a civilization and then they disappeared for some strange reason. And there’s nobody left. They think apparently there’s an imposter among them.

And this creature is able to shape, shift and take on various roles. It’s able to take on the role of Nancy. It’s able to take on the role of various crew men and it survives essentially on salt. The doctor, Dr. Robert Crater, he knows this and he is attempting to get people out of there by, being very bad tempered to them, I guess, but it doesn’t work.

That’s the rundown of the episode. And eventually it ends in a bit of a tragedy because this creature is the last of its kind and it has to be destroyed because it is quite uncontrollable.

It is driven by a very powerful hunger. And it doesn’t think beyond the hunger, which makes it very dangerous.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

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Podcast Enterprise: S1E1: The Cage

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

In The Cage, the first pilot episode of Star Trek TOS and this was aired, I believe in 1965. It follows instead of Captain Kirk, we have Captain Pike in command of the Enterprise and, he receives a strange distress signal from the SS Columbia in very very peculiar planet called Talos IV. The episode actually follows their interactions with a very diabolic and eerie race of aliens on Talos IV who specialized in telepathy. You would find that the crew members of the Enterprise in this episode is very different from the rest of Star Trek.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

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Episode 0: These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise

Intro to our podcast series Podcast Enterprise.

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

The episode to kickstart all the other episodes of Podcast Enterprise. We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading

Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Learn problem solving from Patema

In February 2022, around Valentine’s day, I saw a few Japanese movies as part of a Japanese film festival - https://jff.jpf.go.jp/watch/jffonline2022/india/.

Of the 4 movies I saw, one that turned my world upside down was Patema Inverted (サカサマのパテマ, Sakasama no Patema).

What’s this got to do with Design Thinking, you ask. In the solve stage of Karmic Design Thinking, one can use “The Other Way Round” inventive principle from the ARIZ/TRIZ toolkit. This is the core of the movie Patema Inverted.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 40,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “Could you explain the other way round principle [to generate ideas]?”

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - What questions should I ask in the user interviews?

The journalist’s friend is the 5W1H tool. What is 5W1H? Who uses it? Where is it used? How does one use the tool? When is it best used? Why should one use the tool? Hmmm… Let’s find out.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “What questions should I ask in the user interviews?”

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How to write a novel-Step-1-Write a one-liner novel

So, you want to write a novel?

In this series, I’ll detail out my process of writing a novel. How I converted a simple idea into 70,000 (Scrabble Queen) and 80,000 (Penniless) word manuscripts?

I will use my latest writing project Bhumiyin Kathai (Bhumi’s story) as an example, so that it can serve as an inspiration for you. (Totally selfish reasons, while trying to explain stuff to you, I am getting the motivation to complete outlining the story 😁)

I am writing this story (eventually as a screenplay) to serve as a backdrop and an interest creator for this course - https://onlinedegree.iitm.ac.in/course_pages/BSCMG3001.html

Right, back to novel writing.

Where to start?

Step 1
Write the story in one line.

For Bhumiyin Kathai:

An indecisive and scheming literature student from a village helps all her siblings become artists by learning to make apps.

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Are there 4 stages or 5 stages for Design Thinking?

I have always been enamoured by Mandala drawings, but never thought it was my cup of tea to draw one. However, when a question came up in an online Design Thinking live session came up from a learner, I ended up drawing one, or I think it looks like one.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “Is Design Thinking a 4-stage or a 5 stage process?”

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How do we help an octagenarian remember better?

This is a guest post written by a team of enthusiastic people who got together for a Design Thinking workshop and worked on helping an octagenarian to remember better. You can read the list of team members in the author description. This case study is complete with a working prototype (Scroll to the end to interact with an embedded prototype of an app). Thanks Lakshay and team for your active contributions to the Karmic Design Thinking repository ❤.

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Why the question "Why" is essential in your life

An imaginary island. A handful of people forced to serve under an evil man. His compassionate daughter eyeing the leader of the forced labourers. Makings of a great masala movie.

Yes, this was the point where, the leader of the forced labourers, the Tamil Matinee idol, MGR (Actor MG Ramachandran) sang on screen “Yen endra kelvi ingu ketkaamal vaazhkai illai” or “There is no life without asking the question ‘Why’”.

This song was from the movie “Aayirathil oruvan”, the 1965 blockbuster.

The question “why” is very essential not only in that movie, but in Design Thinking as well.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “How do I apply the Multi-Why technique in a complicated problem and in a large team?”

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How to convert your ideas into visual means by sketching

Visually, you can convey and retain a ton of information compared to printed or spoken media. Curious how you can achieve this?

Sketching.

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